OXFORD — Eddie MacDonald was in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday night for a NASCAR K&N Series East race. By 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning, he was in a car heading to Pittsburgh.

And by 5 a.m., the two-time defending TD Bank 250 champion was on a flight to Portland.

MacDonald says sleep is overrated — and he should know.

The driver from Rowley, Mass., made a late-night/early morning dash to arrive at Oxford Plains Speedway in time to defend his titles.

“I’m used to long nights,” he said. “But it would’ve been nice to get a little sleep.”

MacDonald finished 10th in the inaugural Jegs 150 K&N Series East race Saturday night. He is ninth in points on the developmental tour.

He has just one top-five finish in nine races.

“It’s a tough series,” MacDonald said. “There are some really good drivers who race it. It’s not easy.”

MacDonald started near the back of the field in the third qualifying heat. He later advanced by winning a consolation qualifying race.

* * *

The No. 26 National Guard car that NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski drove at the TD Bank 250 last year was back again Sunday.

American-Canadian Tour driver John Donahue, of Barre, Vt., drove the car Sunday.

“It’s pretty decent, pretty comfortable,” said Donahue, who is second in ACT points. “It’s comfortable, and I’m looking for comfortable.”

Kendall Roberts owns the car, which was built last year for the TD Bank 250.

“We let Brad drive it last year,” he said. “It’s a good car. We’ve made a few adjustments on it, trying to get it faster. We’re usually pretty good at Oxford.”

Donahue finished 25th at a June 4 ACT race here.

“The 250 is a whole new ballgame,” he said. “We had to change the whole setup. It was a bad day for us, but we’re ready.”

* * *

Scott Luce, of Strong, was among a handful of drivers who were ready to practice when the track opened at 8 a.m.

“We just need to qualify,” said Luce, who primarily competes on the ACT. “We’d like to get in early and start up front. It’s been kind of an up and down year. We’ve made a lot of changes to the car, so we’ll see.”

Luce finished 12th in the previous ACT race at OPS.

He was also involved with one of the tighter races during qualifying. Luce held off a late-charging Eric Williams in the final lap to earn a spot in the feature.

* * *

Joey Polewarczyk, 22, of Hudson, N.H., gave Kyle Busch all he could handle in the PASS North race Saturday night.

Polewarczyk, one of the top ACT drivers, grabbed the lead away from Busch before surrendering it late.

“We got by Busch and got to third,” Polewarczyk said. “But then we got caught up in lapped cars and finished sixth. It was cool to race him. He was fast, real fast.”

Polewarczyk has endured both ends of the spectrum at the 250, finishing third in 2008, 15th in 2009 and a dismal 29th last year.

He said Sunday he’s matured as a driver over the years.

“You can psyche yourself out in the heat races and really set yourself up for a bad day,” he said. “That’s happened. I’m a little older now, and a little more patient. That’s helped.”

* * *

ACT points leader Brian Hoar, of Williston, Vt., entered as one of the top contenders. Hoar finished fourth in 2009 and second last season. He also has three victories in six ACT races this season.

“We have a great car,” he said. “The car is excellent. We just had to get it fine-tuned. We have high expectations. We’ve had a fabulous start to the year. We’ve won 50 percent of the races.”

With high expectations comes pressure, which Hoar acknowledged he felt heading into the 250.

“Yeah, there’s a little pressure on us,” he said. “It’s OK. It’s not a big deal. There are a lot of fast cars out there.”

* * *

Jeff Taylor, 44, of Farmington was scrambling to get his car ready after it wrecked in a Late Model points race at OPS last weekend.

“We had to put a whole new front on,” he said. “It’s a lot of work. It’s too much of an undertaking. It couldn’t have come at a worse time.”

Taylor said he’s raced sporadically this year, and his performance Sunday would impact his schedule moving forward.

“We’ll just try to get in,” he said. “That’s about it. If we have a good day, we’ll see. I don’t know what I’ll be doing.”

Taylor finished third in the fourth qualifying heat to advance.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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